Pier Country


-By Orv Alveshere-

Why were the country kids always racing their horses
In ditches or over cow-trail or Badger-hole courses?
You may ask why: truthfully, it was for success and they raced for speed.
To out do the other was a basic countryfied need.
We wanted to feel the wind in our hair and in our face.
That was the ultimate fun of an impromptu horse race!
It was more than to boast “that my horse is faster than yours.”
The race settled the argument! We’d race then do the chores.

 At times we were asked where has the speed and the muscle gone
 When stretching and mending and fixing fences all day along?
 And roll and stretch that barbed wire (ouch … barbs) and staple that post.
 Digging ‘arm strong’ post holes with hand augers was hated most.
 Because we were slow did not indicate that we were best.
 We made the fence look good. A “warranty”? Dad, surely you jest.
 We simply lined up two posts, number 3s like an eyesore!
 Post hole tamping had it’s ups and down’s while doing fencing chores.

 Sometimes we stood on a tie in the water to reach to post.
 If you leaned too far fear would make you as pale as a ghost.
 One lad would drive the horses and wagon around the slough.
 Leaving me another wet post and more staples to do.
 But Murphy’s law, (with uncertainty caution words well worn )
 Was alive and well thanks to a roll of barbed wire steel thorns.
 A post was missing. Where do you think? It underscores
 (Out in the middle of the drink) it caused pains in fencing chores.

We drove off to the neighbors to borrow his wading boots.
Driving off, we recall his conjecture and taunting hoots!
Two posts were easy, but the third, in that one-man show
Was in deep water, I felt cold, cold water touch my toe!
The ‘hole’ in the waders, that caused all of that painful stress
Was at my waist, what a mess! But I had dressed for success.
I climbed to ride a harnessed horse, wetter than a downpour.
On that ride, I dried. A wasted day, doing the fencing chore!

If you have started to think that each and every fencing trip
To stretch barbed-wire and staple posts, was a gave a frigid cold dip.
You’re about to hear about some of the most fun we had.
Dad was gone to a convention so unbeknownst to Dad
We loaded our wagon with 12 discarded railroad ties.
A long pole, some boards, a hammer and spikes of supersize.
We hurried fast to the big slough. We had a pole, but no oars.
When we spiked a large raft instead of doing fencing chores.

 The raft was ugly. It was not a kattamaran per say.
 We were like the quote: “When the cat’s away the mice will play.”
 We floated our cares away, hour after hour, through the day.
 Could we finish the other half of the fencing?  There is no way!
 Fortunately mother nature gave us back our speed.
 We dug postholes and mended the fence with sheer strength indeed!
 Good we do it again? We did it once, with conspirators.
 For now let my pen do those troublesome fencing chores.

© Orv Alveshere 1993

  Orv Alveshere, an award-winning writer of humorous cowboy poetry and stories, “grew up hanging on a horse.” He writes about his lifetime of adventures.

Orv’s Cowboy Poetry tells of the days of life on the ranch in Midwest America when horses were used for transportation, field work, Sunday-go-to-meetings, and more. Read cowboy poetry from our beloved Orv Alveshere who recalls the days and memories from his past growing up farming on the prairies of North Dakota. Revel in the glory days of the true cowboy. Take steps back into the history of rural farm life, when horses were the centerpiece of the ranch and instrumental in the survival of the families that built America.